6 May 2015

Japanese monkeys

From BBC news:
A Japanese zoo has apologised after naming a baby monkey Charlotte in honour of the newborn British princess, it's reported.
The Takasakiyama Zoo, in southern Japan, was inundated with complaints after announcing the female macaque monkey's name on Wednesday, the Kyodo news agency reports. The zoo says the name was chosen after a public vote, a tradition for their first newborn macaque
monkey each year. Charlotte received the most votes, although it wasn't exactly a runaway winner, with 59 out of 853 people choosing it.
But other members of the public felt that it was disrespectful to the British royal family to name a monkey after a princess. The zoo faced a "barrage" of complaints from people wanting them to re-name the macaque, with some noting that the Japanese people might not be best pleased if a British monkey were named after one of their own royal family, Kyodo reports. The zoo has apologised in a statement on its website. It says it takes people's concerns seriously and is discussing a potential name change for the newborn animal.
Well, I just came back from Japan,  and did have encounters with some Japanese monkeys out in the wild, in Kamikochi. I didn't know that one of their relatives would be named in honour of a British princess and neither that this would be considered scandalous. The question is why? Why should a princess' name not be useable by a monkey? Is a princess better than a monkey? On what grounds? Just because she happened to be born in a so-to-speak royal family? This is one of the irrationalities/absurdities of humans, a mere remnant of eras when people thought of royals as representatives of their gods. In any case, I find the monkeys more attractive than the princess. To wit, take a look:
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T H E B O T T O M L I N E

What measure theory is about

It's about counting, but when things get too large.
Put otherwise, it's about addition of positive numbers, but when these numbers are far too many.

The principle of dynamic programming

max_{x,y} [f(x) + g(x,y)] = max_x [f(x) + max_y g(x,y)]

The bottom line

Nuestras horas son minutos cuando esperamos saber y siglos cuando sabemos lo que se puede aprender.
(Our hours are minutes when we wait to learn and centuries when we know what is to be learnt.) --António Machado

Αγεωμέτρητος μηδείς εισίτω.
(Those who do not know geometry may not enter.) --Plato

Sapere Aude! Habe Muth, dich deines eigenen Verstandes zu bedienen!
(Dare to know! Have courage to use your own reason!) --Kant